Selfie

I love selfies. I especially relish the selfies my kids take. What mother doesn’t appreciate a picture taken of their children?

Technically, my children aren’t children anymore. They’re adults aged 23 and 20. My oldest is my daughter, Alexis. She’s a graduate of the CIA in New York and has her sommelier certificate level two working towards her level three. She has been living (mostly) independently for a few years now; she just couldn’t wait to start living her dream. I’m partially to blame because I raised my kids to be independent. I’m proud of her and her accomplishments so far, but it’s a double edged sword this independence that I instilled into her and it’s this: I’m not the center of her universe, she doesn’t need me like she used to when she was little. Today, I will cook her dinner or we’ll go out to lunch a few times a week. She tells me what’s going on in her life; her goals, her dreams, and her plans to achieve both. She’s the star of her life now and I couldn’t be more proud. It’s true what they say (whoever “they” are) hold onto them while they’re young because they grow up so fast.

So, that’s why I relish the selfies she takes and posts onto her social media. It’s a little window into her world.

⬇️ This is a selfie Alexis took a couple of years ago. When I saw it I knew immediately I was going to turn it into a portrait quilt.

I copied the picture from her Facebook wall onto my iPhone then went to FedEx/Kinkos. I sent to picture via email to the store, they accessed their email and printed the photo to my specifications. This takes a few minutes and costs less than $5. I suggest making a color copy and a posterized black and white for the color values.

I then trace the values of the black and white copy for my fabric piecing. I used the freezer paper method for this piece, and by tracing the copy it makes it easier to see when tracing the pattern onto freezer paper using a light box.

I started with the lips. When making teeth don’t use white only fabric, teeth aren’t naturally white white. Teeth have undertone colors of blue, grey, and or yellow. For her teeth I used a light grey, white and a very pale yellow for the dimensional effect. For the gloss on her lips I used a sheer fabric. For piecing this together I use fabric glue. “A little dab will do ya.” 😊

When cutting out the fabric from your freezer paper cut the pieces about 1/4 inch larger than the pattern so when piecing it together they slightly overlap.

You can see I did not use traditional skin tone colors. I felt for my daughter “skin tone” would not truly represent her. Alexis is an artist and she played with colors her entire life so I felt that should be reflected in this portrait.

When gluing down your piece onto the muslin do not glue to the edge. It will make cutting out your portrait from the muslin easier.

I found the perfect background color and now for the hair. It’s hard not to make the hair look like a helmet. I tried layering a few colors of fabric, but always hated the result. I then decided to hand embroider her hair. This is the only way I know how to texturize her hair without the occlusivness you get with layers of fabric.

⬆️ The hand embroidery stitching I used was straight stitch, split stitch, stem stitch, and chain stitch. The colors I used in her hair is blue, purple, magenta, pink, green, and lilac. I’m pretty sure her hair was every one of these colors at one time 😃.

The quilting is free motion. I quilt in the contours of her face and arm and for the background I patterned out a design using fabric pencil. The final piece measures 20″x24″. Alexis loves this portrait 💗💗

Another selfie, this time it’s a mother/daughter selfie 💗💗💗.

12×12 FLOWER #2

This month’s 12×12 quilt challenge in my Art2quilt group theme is flower. For this challenge the quilter is able to create any type of flower quilt using any kind of method; be it appliqué, fabric painting, thread painting, and so on. I decided to try my hand at ribbon embroidery. I watched a YouTube video found here ➡️ https://youtu.be/coWAlsXsGVs.

Originally, I wanted to add all types of flowers but quickly discovered that pulling ribbon through a 3 layered quilt is impossible! Next time I will do the ribbon embroidery then add it to the quilt.

The types of flowers I chose to use were the types I could thread to the top of the quilt.

I beaded the centers of the red flowers to kind of resemble poppies.

For the quilt pattern, I just free motioned the design of the fabric. I chose a gold leaf fabric for the boarder. This piece reminds me of the book “Memoirs of a Geisha”, which is one of my all-time favorite books.

I’m very happy with how this piece turned out. 😊

International Quilt Festival Chicago 2018

When I heard about the international quilt show in Chicago, I bought a $100 round trip train ticket and headed to my first exhibition and quilt trade show. Since it was my first show I can’t compare it to other shows, but I thought it was fantastic. I wasn’t disappointed at all, more overwhelmed than anything. I planned for 2 days with a half day class on the first day and a whole day class on the second day. I probably won’t do that again because it didn’t leave me enough time to see the traders. It barely gave me enough time to see all the quilts on exhibit. I snapped over 100 pictures. Below I posted some of the quilts I saw.

A celebration of color sponsored by Aurifil.

Best in show ⬇️

“Remembering Sochi” by Claire Haillot quilted by Colleen Paul.

I especially loved this quilt ⬇️ It is hand appliquéd. The love and friendship expressed in this piece is palpable.

A basket weaved quilt ⬇️ When I saw this piece I literally gasped! I took a lot of pictures of this one because I will make a quilt based off this design some day 💕💕

This quilt ⬇️ was digitally cut with over 2,000 pieces. It a mosaic style and it is amazing

This quilt was 3D ⬇️. I never saw a quilt like this one. It was a refreshing pop of emotion expressed through textile. I wanted to touch it, but instead I stared at it for a long time. It made me feel like a child watching a puppet show. I loved it! 💗

The late, great phyllis Diller. ⬇️. This is an example of portrait quilting that is ON FLEAK!!!

This quilt ⬇️ is an example of thread painting. As you can see the detail, colors, and expression is moving.

Nina : A Theme with Variations by Sheri Culver ⬇️. HERSTORY

⬇️. This quilt was jaw dropping, I mean, who can quilt this???? the detail is amazing!!

And this quilt was my inspiration ⬇️ to start art quilting in the first place. “Wind blown” by Maria Elkins I saw this picture on Pinterest and I thought, yes!!! This is what I want to do! this is me ⬆️.

Mother Nature

This quilt required a lot of different techniques that I have learned along the way. I still have a lot more to learn but I will take you step by step on this process.

Above ⬆️ you can see that I started out by tracing out an image of a face onto muslin. Then I cut out small pieces of fabric flowers and leaves to start shading in the face. This is a technique I learned from famed quilter, Susan Carlson, via her book, Serendipity.

My working piece is laid on top of foam core so I can push the pins into place as I continue to shade and collage the face in with my many cut fabric flowers and butterflies. I’m constantly changing and rearranging the flowers around until I think I have it right.

When I feel the piece is complete I start to glue the flowers down onto the muslin. I also use a product called Fray Block by Tailor to keep the fabric from fraying as this is a raw edge technique. This portrait is not glued down to the edge. This was done purposely so I can cut it out from the muslin and lay it onto my quilted background once that is completed.

The background to my Mother Nature quilt, of course, will be trees. The tree branches is a gold and white fabric that I bought from Joann Fabric because I thought it resembled the bark of a birch tree. For the leaves, I decided to do a confetti technique. It’s a pretty easy technique that I learned from watching a few YouTube videos. I laid my darker colors down first then added my lighter colors. I used a purple tulle to lay over the confetti leaves to stabilize it before quilting it down. I didn’t use all my confetti pieces so I bagged them individually to use for a later project. (⬆️ See the muffin tin I used to keep the confetti pieces separate.

Next came the hair. I know, it’s a shockingly a lot of dark color. I was hesitant at first about it, but I proceeded forward. I quilted a free motion feather technique that I also learned from watching YouTube videos (what can’t you learn from watching YouTube videos). The outside edge of the hair I sewed on purple emery floss to give it a pop of color. The thread I used for the feather quilting was also purple, however I didn’t like the purple color veining down the center of the feathers so I used my black inktense colored pencil to darken it in.

I cut out more of the butterflies and added them into her hair. I thought that this added more flow and depth to her hair. I added a white tulle to only her face to soften it a bit before I began the final quilting process.

⬆️ Here is a closer look at the free motion quilting I did on her face. As you can see, I free motion quilted in the natural contours of her face. In this photo you can also see a close up of the branches. I used a gold thread and a squiggly line to appliqué the branches. It was a bit frustrating as the gold thread isn’t strong and tended to break easily if I went too fast.

I decided on a 1/4 inch boarder of a matching colored fabric as the background. It measures 18×41 inches. Mother Nature now belongs to my daughter. She tells me that she loves it and has it hanging in her foyer and that makes me smile.

Henri Cartier-Bresson….an inspiration

One cold, dreary, winter day in Detroit, MI my husband and I found ourselves looking for something to do. What else is there to do on a day like this but go to the museum. The Detroit Institute of Art Museum is a can’t miss! It was, however, the year that it was rumored that the city would have to sell some pieces in order to pay the huge bills that the city had accumulated (thanks Quami).

So, with that in mind, we wanted to go to the museum; in case it was our last chance. It truly is an amazing place with great artists’ work exhibited throughout the whole museum. We spent six hours touring the displays, and you still can go and enjoy it too because the museum didn’t end up having to sell a single piece.

While in the photography exhibit I came across a photo of a little boy carrying two huge bottles of wine. His face was full of pride and the little girl in the background is looking at the boy with either joy or amusement. This picture by Henri Cartier-Bresson simply makes me feel happy. There isn’t a print available for purchase so I took a picture of it with my iPhone with the plan to replicate it with quilting.

I took my iPhone picture to Fedex-Kinkos to have the picture blown up to a huge 64×54 inch photocopy. It was printed on architecture paper and cost $11.00. I traced the face onto freezer paper using a light box. I then numbered the different sections based on light value, 1-9. I have my fabric already purchased and I also pre-numbered them according to light value. 1, being very dark to 9, being very light.

Next, I cut out the pieces and started to glue them down onto muslin. The eyes were very hard for me to complete. At first I thought I would just paint them, but, I decided to fussy cut the fabric to make the eyes as perfect as I could get them.

I continued my work to his body and then to the bottles of wine. Once completed, I then had to decide on the background. I wanted to give an impression of a building with a blue sky background. I also decided that the orange/red sweater gave too much contrast so I muted it down with red bridal tulle. I also ended up muting the contrast-y face down with a white bridal tulle.

So, here he is ⬇️. All glued down and ready to quilt. He will be my second portrait I will quilt. I decided to watch a few more YouTube videos on portrait quilting and off I went!

I started out using invisible thread, but that wasn’t working out too well, so I switched to white for his face, dark brown for his hair, red for the sweater and so on.

Completed, “Little Henri” hangs in my living room and measures 64×54 inches.

He makes me smile 😊